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Cape Epic: Corey Wallace's Kona Hei Hei

Cape Epic: Corey Wallace's Kona Hei Hei pro bike
(Image credit: Max Sullivan )

For Canadian rider Corey Wallace, the Cape Epic has been a bucket list item. Although his scheduled partner suffered a crash and could not start with Corey, he is racing with another South African replacement, Craig Boyes.

Corey’s bike for the Epic is Kona’s Hei Hei carbon. The three-time solo 24-hour World Champ is a powerfully built rider and his Hei Hei reflects that. Many pros at this year’s Cape Epic are riding on 100mm bikes, but Corey opted for some downcountry numbers, with his Hei Hei carbon.

Beefy fork for the rough descents

The Fox Factory suspension on his bike sees a 120mm Stepcast 34 and Float shock. Not only does the Fox 34 Stepcast look great, with its orange lowers and Kashima stanchions contrasting against Corey’s blue frame, but Fox’s 34 also provides excellent descending control.

Corey usually rides with a 100mm Fox Transfer dropper post, but he is alternating between the dropper and a fixed carbon seatpost, at the Cape Epic.

Saddle choice is a crucial part of any endurance stage race, especially at the Cape Epic. Keeping Corey comfortable on those long days across the rocky Western Cape terrain is a WTB Silverado saddle.

Unlike many other pro riders at the Cape Epic, Corey is a Shimano drivetrain man. That means he is running the Japanese brand's best mountain bike groupset, Shimano XTR. Interestingly he has opted for the cable-actuated shifting rather than the Di2 option. Depending on terrain profile, Corey is riding a 34- or 36T chainring up front, transferring power to a 10-51T cassette at the rear. There is no power meter so Corey will be basing his pace and effort on feel and experience. For stopping Shimano's XTR brakes are at Corey’s fingertips and he clips into similar-grade Shimano pedals.

The iconic Ikon

Rolling Corey along are Astral Serpentine carbon wheels, which have a 30mm internal rim diameter and are shod with a proven Maxxis tire choice: the Ikon. Puncture proofing is supported by a CushCore insert in the rear to help deal with the rock terrain. 

Corey would usually run an Ikon at the rear and Forekaster upfront, but for the rolling efficiency required at a Cape Epic, he opted for a set of Ikons, sized 29x2.35-inches.

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Rides: Morewood Kwela Cotic Simple 26 Pyga 160mm aluminium prototype